When I first arrived in Idaho, I called Matt to let him know I had made it to Idaho Falls. He cheerily replied that he would be there soon; he’d just picked up the Suburban from the shop and was running a little late. That, ladies and gentlemen, was the first time I learned of the infamous ‘burb. As I sat on the curb outside the bus stop, a “well loved” 1994 Chevrolet Suburban rolled up. Little did I know, this car would whisk me away to my new home for the summer, and also become one of the intern crew’s closest acquaintances.
The ‘Burb, or Bruce, as she is sometimes known, has been with us almost every day this summer. We’ve had many thrilling adventures together, almost too many to count. Many days, Brucey would give us a challenge: “Go ahead, open my back doors. Bet ya can’t.” Ten minutes later, one of the two doors would be open. As Matt explained to me on my first day, “it’s a push, then a pull. Kind of all one motion.” At this point in the summer, I’m happy to say I’ve almost mastered the technique. But sometimes, our adventures weren’t as fun for playful ol’ Bruce.
|The 'Burb kindly allowing Anne Marie, Zach, and Matt take some telemetry and fish surgery gear she was hauling around.|
In her old age, the ‘Burb sometimes struggles overcoming the behemoth of a land mass we call the Ashton Hill. Bruce would hiccup and cough her way to the top, then coast down until the next rise. Somehow, even with a trailer or on triple empty, we still always made it (regardless of the odd smells creeping in to us from Bruce’s innards) with country music blaring. Luckily, the ‘burb recently underwent extensive non-invasive surgery to fix her, shall we say, “asthma” problem.
For a while, Bruce insisted on not using her turning signals while braking. Because of that stubborn habit, the crew learned all of the hand signals that you laugh at when you first hear of them during driver’s ed. When the ‘Burb wasn’t suffering from medical issues or dolling out life lessons, she silently did any tasked asked of her, with no qualms whatsoever.
The ‘Burb is the crew’s noble steed, our faithful friend who never lets us down, no matter what the circumstances. Bruce has taken us thousands of feet up mountains, down washboarded forest roads, and carted more gear around then ever though possible. The crew would like to thank that wonderful vehicle that we are so proud to call a friend.
|The man, the myth, the legend: the 'Burb.|
Keep on truckin’,
P.S. A message to Bruce: if you could please return the sunscreen, hemostats, nippers, and socks you “borrowed” from me, that would be most appreciated.